BAJAUR AGENCY - A three-day anti-polio campaign will start in Bajaur Agency today (Monday) amid tight security to ensure protection of health workers in which 223,850 children would be vaccinated against polio infection across the agency.
In this connection, an inaugural ceremony was held in the Agency Headquarters Hospital on Sunday that was chaired by Bajaur Agency Political Agent Syed Abdul Jabar Shah and attended by senior officials of the health department, WHO, tribal elders and religious scholars.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Abdul Jabar Shah said that administration is adopting all possible means to defeat the polio disease in the agency. He called upon the tribal elders and religious scholars to extend their support to administration, as joint efforts and team spirit are vital for elimination of the menace.
He requested the tribal elders and Ulema to step up their efforts for creating awareness among the tribesmen about polio vaccination. The political agent also urged the health department officials to accelerate their efforts for the early eradication of polio disease in the region. On the occasion, the political agent formally inaugurated the campaign by administering oral polio vaccine to a child.
Meanwhile, Agency Surgeon Dr Zakir Hussain told reporters that 628 health teams would vaccinate 223,850 children against polio in the agency. He said the administration has taken strange security measures for the polio teams and personnel of Levies Force, FC and members of peace committee had been deployed to ensure security of polio workers during the drive.
Hussain expressed the hope that the agency would be soon cleared of polio disease because no positive case had been reported in the region for the past two years.
Meanwhile, special team comprising senior officers of Health Department and representatives of WHO, UNICEF and GATES Foundation has been constituted for monitoring anti-polio campaign from January 08 to 11 in Toba Tek Singh and Shorkot. The team has reached the district to review micro planning of the anti-polio campaign.
Chairing a meeting held here Sunday, Special Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarar informed that the joint team comprises Additional Director Health Dr Nazir Hussain, WHO Representative from Islamabad Dr Abidi Nasir, UNICEF rep Dr Rana Mushtaq, Dr Ehsan, GATES Foundation Dr Aslam Chaudhry and other officers of the department. He observed that reporting of three polio cases from the same district was a big question mark on the performance of concerned officers of the district. Babar Hayat Tarar said that eradication of polio from the province was top priority of Chief Minister Punjab.
He made it clear that bad performance either by the officers or the officials in the anti-polio campaign would not be tolerated at any cost. He further informed that special monitoring team, after arrival in the district has checked micro plan of the anti polio campaign and has taken DCO Toba Tek Singh Dr Farah Masood on board. He further informed that during special anti-polio campaign from 8 to 11th January about six lakh and ten thousand children of the age of upto five years would be administered polio drops. He said that a mass anti-polio campaign would be launched from 18 to 20th January across the province.